Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Travelin' Down The Road And I'm Flirtin' With Disaster

Before I post, I would like to point out some changes in the violent video game article I posted a few days ago.  Because I never 100% iterate my thoughts the first time so give me a break.


This Friday had to be the most fun day when it came to driving home.

Picture this.  It's 2 PM and I'm driving alone 40 miles home on Interstate 12 from Hammond to Slidell in my "Mach 5," my rugged car I won't even talk about to keep you stalkers away--I'll tell you it's blue though.  The midway point is Covington, a place I used to go for school, but that was four years ago.  It starts raining really hard.  I go slow, like 50 mph, but people keep zipping by.  When I get near the exit to Covington, traffic comes to a standstill.  Apparently some dumbass got in a wreck and held up traffic.  I could've waited in line for hours but I saw the exit to Covington next to I impulsively jumped off the highway instead of waiting it out, hoping to find a quick route past the wreckage.

At this point, I was driving from a shopping mall into the woods surrounded by neighborhoods following a trail of traffic who had the same idea as I...  I didn't really know where I was--I didn't have a Garmin, Tomtom, GPS device, map, or compass, but in my mind, I knew I had to "Go East."  Like if I took a left or a right, I knew the whereabouts on which direction I wanted to go and hoped that I would end up someplace familiar which would lead me home.  Plus if I followed traffic, I feel that I could get somewhere.

I'm driving through this town--Mandeville, Tangipahoa, Tchefuncte, Lacombe, whatever.  Small town with a lot of tall trees and old houses.  Bumper-to-bumper traffic--I figured I was going the right way and I followed my "compass."  Unfortunately, I was driving along and everyone cut to the left at an intersection.  Thinking that it was against my compass to go left and wanting to dodge traffic, I go right.  How stupid was that.

So I'm driving down little streets with plantation houses, grass fields, and maritime museums, wondering when I'd hit a major road that would take me East to my home.  But no, didn't happen.  After driving around like an idiot, the forest makes way for these weird bushes and a wide open skyline--like those you'd see in a marsh.  So here I am driving down this rugged little two-lane street, going through the brush, puddles everywhere, no traffic, WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING??

If you're here, you're either goin' fishin' or you're hopelessly lost.

So I drive down this three-mile road that I couldn't do a 180 on and at the end is this fishing dock.  DEAD END, GOD HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL.  So I backtrack to the town, take a few turns down narrow roads trying to follow my "Go East" compass.  I cruise over some bridges, some condos, then the treeline comes back so I knew I was going somewhere better.  So I finally end up in a somewhat-urban area and realize "Yeah, I'm in Mandeville or something."  So I'm cruising down the road, passing by some fancy neighborhoods, a CVS Pharmacy, a Burger King, etc.  By this time, my compass just about failed--I didn't know which direction I was driving so I hoped to come across a highway or a distinct landmark for guidance.

I come across this V-shaped intersection, kind of like in OutRun 2.  I can take a left or a right.  My instincts said go left, but traffic blocked me off from going left, so whatever, I go right.  Driving down this big avenue, faint memories aren't enough to help me know which direction to go.  I spot a highway and drive towards it.  I end up hopping on a road and guess what--I'm on the interstate heading towards a toll booth just before the Causeway (world's longest bridge)!  It connects Mandeville with Metairie (which is by New Orleans).

23.87 miles (38.42 km) long.

I thought besides riding the bridge there and back, I would have to resort to turning around, but there were no accessible lanes going the other way.  Hop the curb?  I was about to do that until I saw this little escape route next to the toll booth.  Take that and end up on a service road and I'm back in business.  I was that close to death.

At this point, I travel back up the road, navigating under highways and biways, dodging school buses and snobby soccer moms, back to the V-shaped intersection.  I take the other route ("left") and start cruising down the road.  Oh look, a bank, a Wendy's, a Chinese Restaurant!  Now I know where I'm going.  I come across a highway, jump on the onramp, and within ten minutes or so, I'm back on Interstate 12 going back to Slidell.

Guess how far up the highway I moved from my shenanigans?  Three miles.  That's right, drive around Louisiana backwoods for two hours just to move two miles up the highway.  Not only that, but traffic was moving fine so I could've bypassed the wreck if I had just waited.  I am the world's biggest idiot.  But I am the world's biggest Daytona USA idiot so that's better than rock bottom.  Plus I got to sightsee around this lovely state, I love this place very much.  We've been through Katrina and BP, Saints won the SB, we have good food, yeah we're badass.

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